Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Talk is sweet, especially when accompanied by action

Again, GO Bike Buffalo was involved in something inspirational. The Buffalo Bicycle Master Plan, a city/Go Bike Buffalo venture in conjunction with the Alta planning firm, involved city residents in an informational meeting to explain and answer questions about the plan. It was a fabulous RahRah mtg, encouraging citizen participation by having people draw on a big map of Buffalo to illustrate where they wanted more bike lanes and problem areas.  City officials were present, including the mayor and representatives of the streets department. We (mostly Dwight) have had exposure and interactions with the streets people before and they seem to have a genuine interest in people's opinions. 
The turnout was varied age and sex wise, but poorly represented those who rely on a bicycle for financial reasons.  It does appear that that group is being considered; traffic registering devices in lower socio-economic areas are able to discern the difference between a car and a 2 wheeled vehicle, allowing the streets department to see current bike routing patterns.
Afterwards, many retired to Ulrich's for dinner or drinks and I was pleasantly surprised to see a group who arrived via bikes with panniers.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

How bike friendly is NYC?

I took Amtrak to NYC for a weekend. They get a pretty good grade on cost and service, but they have gotten pretty bad about being on time. Since they seem to be struggling with this problem regularly (1-2 hours late), it would really behoove them to simply adjust their schedule to reflect it. I have never tried to take a full sized bike on board, but it seems those are still restricted to trains with baggage cars, a rarity. Also, Buffalo still has no platform, requiring a very steep climb up train stairs to the car's interior. 
 In NY, I found the traffic and bike lanes exhilarating, traveling from Penn Station almost to Battery Park. My daughter and partner did not necessarily share my perspective, considering the pedestrians in Manhattan to be a severe impediment to travel. I plan to return to cycle the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway trail. Hopefully this will redeem the city, at least in the eyes of my daughter.
Brooklyn was a different story. The routes are convoluted and you have to plot out a complicated route to get most places. I found this annoying, but survived by writing the streets and turns on a piece of paper I stuck in the leg band of my cycling shorts. Dresses over my shorts helped me not stand out like a sore thumb.  Most of the spandex crowd only appeared on the weekends or in the parks.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Another sign of progress

This is a new hardware store I patronize occasionally near the corner of Main and Summer Sts. Although there are some eligible posts nearby to lock to, they opted to install this bike rack.  It may have been precipitated by my (and probably others) locking our bikes to the railing, but instead of yelling at us, they saw the need and reacted nicely, placing the rack close to the entrance and pretty well protected from the parking. Yay!